Blessed Lady

This is the cruising blog of the sailing yacht Mabrouka. The Favorites in the side bar allow those with discriminating taste to filter for just the stuff you want to read. Thanks for visiting, Roy.

13 September 2015
21 August 2015
21 August 2015
20 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Mazatlan Marina, Mazatlan Mexico
13 April 2015 | Off Club Nautico, Mazatlan Commercial Harbor, Mazatlan, MX
15 February 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
13 February 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
25 January 2015
06 January 2015 | Mazatlan, MX
24 December 2014 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
24 December 2014 | Mazatlan, MX
22 December 2014
21 December 2014
18 December 2014 | Playa Isla de la Piedra, Mazatlan, MX
18 December 2014 | Mazatlan, MX
15 December 2014 | Ensenada des los Muertos, Mexico

A Sophisticated Acquaintance

24 December 2014 | Mazatlan, MX
Roy / Varied cool to warm, night to day
Club Nautico

Anchorage off Club Nautico is not luxurious, but it is cheap and provides much better access to Old Mazatlan than the marinas up in the Golden District north of the city from where it's a 100 peso taxi ride into town. At night, when music strides around the bay from neighboring restaurants, one can almost see back in time ten or twenty years when the club's huge round arcade, sheltered beneath its broad red tiled roof and standing proudly behind a row of shiny Med-tied yachts, was only beginning its downslide from cruising Mecca-dom. I can imagine knots of Izod-shirted sailors luxuriating in the cool, Mexican evening air with pina coladas and cervesas while they swap tales of Gulf crossings.

Now there are no boats moored at the sea wall and only a couple of dinghies at a time tie up to its dilapidated float to brave the walk up the creaky, rusting gangway to the parched cement patio. The promenade is lit only by a few bare, incandescent bulbs and it must have been many years since a prize marlin has hung in the stocks in front of the club. The blue and white stuccoed walls still echo the moonlight, but the reflection is marred by failing plaster and muted by the dusty patina of years. Now fifty pesos a day gets you access to brown-tinged bathrooms and showers, a spigot for undrinkable fresh water dispensed through hoses furled in lazy coils on the pock-marked boat ramp, a corner in which to pile your trash, and a friendly local who poses as night security.

The seaside route into Old Mazatlan

I've taken the walk and, lately, ridden my bicycle several times into the city, skirting up and around one side or the other of a rocky knob of residential area, or along the commercial wharves where the water taxis and ferries load and unload passengers from Stone Island and La Paz, then through the outer streets of town. The road on the sea side of the hill is the scenic route, topping rocky shore with a cement rail that offers jutting view points along the way. The biggest one harbors souvenir and drink vendors to help the tourists pass the warm, sunny days.

All roads from Club Nautico seem to lead into Mazatlan's historic district. I've been in most days in the week or so that I've been here and am just starting to know the area and its people. Even more than in La Paz, I think of Mexico as a country of color. The reds and yellows and greens and blues here are magnified by the bright sun, even in winter. Night time in the city is lit mostly by incandescent lights that give a golden tinge to all the edges and bolster the brown-skinned faces with a healthy tone.

In the open air marketLife teems here. The streets, shops, and squares are always roiling with people, few too intent on their own business not to look up to swap a smile and an "Hola!" Though there are abundant stores displaying modern wares in cases ablaze with fluorescent light, I haven't found a supermarket here yet, just street vendors and the open air market.

A walk through the shopping district is cacophonous with music blaring from the shops, from traditional Mexican to hip-hop. If I spoke Spanish I could offer you a more definitive description, but there appears also to be a living to be made in equipping your car with a pair of roof-mounted bullhorns and blasting political or marketing messages through the canyons of buildings and homes of Old Mazatlan.

Break before the throngI'm not a late night person, but it seems to be true that dinner hour really doesn't start before at least seven or eight in the evening. At dusk the waiters and maitre d's are still chatting at empty tables that have been prepped for the onrush of diners and night vendors are still setting up their tables on the squares. A few people are strolling, but it's a lull between afternoon shopping and evening social hour.

Night scene on the squareLast night I sat down at a sidewalk table outside an essentially empty square-side restaurant at seven and things were only starting to crank up around eight. The square had filled with wandering couples, at least two wedding parties spilled out from their indoor venues for photo-shoots, people shopped for nicknacks among the crafts spread across the folding tables, and benches filled up with young women chatting their evening gossip.

I've come to know Mazatlan only by her gaudy dress, but her curves, style, and poise hint at a mature, sophisticated lady who welcomes the world and offers enchantment to any who linger to spend time with her.

Good bones
Vessel Name: Mabrouka
Vessel Make/Model: CT-41
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Roy Neyman
Mabrouka and I have been partners in crime since October 1998, hanging about in West Coast waters, first in San Diego, then in Seattle. All of that time we've lived together aboard. [...]
I've called this blog "Blessed Lady" because that's my preferred translation from Arabic for "Mabrouka". She's a 1980 CT-41, one of several clones of the original Bill Garden design Mariner ketches. At 50 feet from the tip of her mizzen boom to the tip of her bow sprit, she's 16 tons of [...]
Mabrouka's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 10 of 10
On the streets of Freemont
Street art edited.
Elvis the stuffed cat is a memento of my daughters at the age of about 5.  The peace sign was a gift from good friend, Karyn Borcich.  Thanks to both!
This is Swan as I knew him, though in a more rugged environment than we ever shared.  We usually met at the coffee shop or at Voula
This is of Swan as I would also like to have known him, ...cigarettes, cameras and wine.
This is Steve hosting our Elliott Bay Design Group company picnic at his vacation home in Darington.
I never went fishing with Steve, although he let me try out his fly casting rig in the river by his house during one of the company picnics he hosted.  I
The winter slip on Lake Union
Temporary raft up with Molly Bella near my old slip at Stimson Marina
This album shares photos from mainland and Baja Mexico.
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 1 March 2015
The beginning of the South Pacific cruise, heading to San Diego and Mexico
1 Photo | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 15 August 2014
Killing time with local sailing and projects before heading south with the Coho Ho Ho cruiser's rally
56 Photos
Created 29 June 2014
Kathy and Karyn (with a "Y") used me as an excuse for a party. I was just fine with that!
25 Photos
Created 31 May 2014
On Lake Union where Mabrouka and I spent the winter
20 Photos
Created 31 May 2014
Shakedown cruise to Port Townsend
7 Photos
Created 25 May 2014
Gunkholing in the Seattle area, with me and Mabrouka getting our sea legs back under us.
50 Photos | 28 Sub-Albums
Created 14 April 2013
Custom made sailing skiff hand-built by NW School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock, WA
18 Photos
Created 21 March 2013
Pre-retirement cruising pics
27 Photos
Created 21 March 2013
Photos accompanying Projects blogs.
43 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 12 March 2013